One of the big misconceptions about protein skimmer use is that the darker skimmate with the mud-like consistency means your skimmer is pulling out the most dissolved organics possible. While the skimmer is working very well at this point, it’s not entirely accurate to say the skimmer is working optimally. It really only means that the skimmate is dry, and it may also mean that your hardware is missing out on removing some of the organics in the water. Wet skimming, the process of making a skimmate with a watery consistency and tea-like color, may actually remove more organic material because it is getting more than just the residue left behind from a bursting bubble. It is getting some foul water as well. This thought process is also what is behind the protein skimmer water change, whereby a skimmer is allowed to run “wet”, which constantly removes water from the aquarium. New saltwater replaces the dirty water that had been removed.